Alhagie Dembo Jatta, an elite agriculturist who also double as a board member at the National Research Institute (NARI) has said that The Gambia can be food self-sufficient in rice without relying on exported rice if, the citizenry particularly the youths participate effectively in rice cultivation.
According to Mr Jatta, these will even be another adherance to President Yahya Jammeh’s back-to-the-land call.
In an interview with the Daily Observer recently at his Busumbala home in the Kombo North District, Mr Jatta affirmed that what warranted him to venture into farming was his vision to respond to President Yahya Jammeh’s call as well as an agriculturist who spend over 15 years in different countries across Europe and Assia working as an agriculturist.
He urged Gambian youths to distance themselves from the attitute of staying in the urban areas or sacrificing their lives on the way to the Canary Island with the intension of seeking greener pasture. According to him, there is every greener pastor in this country if the people properly utilise the opportunities available. “As always highlighted by President Jammeh, together we can make The Gambia, the Singaphore of Africa” he said.
He then highlighted the various agricultral activities he engaged and dialated on what prompted him to engage in farming activities. He said “when I bought a horse and farming equipments, people wondered why I decided to venture into such. But for me, I strongly believe that farming can only be the alternative for The Gambia to become food self-sufficient. Even our fathers depended on farming which was their sources of income and feeding as well” he said.
He narrated that the Nerica rice introduced by the Gambian leader is one of the best rice for cultivation noting that during his initial cultivation, he harvested over 400 bags of rice. “Even with this, I provided employment for many Gambians during the rainy season” he concluded.